Root canal therapy is one of those treatments that we know can cause concern for some people. However we’d like to reassure you that is an excellent treatment and is something that you shouldn’t be scared about. When you have root canal treatment at Eco Dental you will feel no more discomfort than you would when having an ordinary dental filling. You can rest assured that we take lots of care to make sure this procedure is not painful in any way and we think root canal therapy is great because it can save badly infected teeth that would otherwise require extraction.
When Would I Need Root Canal Therapy?
We may suggest this treatment if you have a tooth that is very badly infected. Normally your teeth are protected with a strong layer of tooth enamel but if this enamel is breached in any way either by being cracked or chipped, or because of tooth decay or some other trauma, then bacteria can get into your tooth, eating away at the dentin directly underneath your tooth enamel and eventually reaching the very central part of your tooth which is called the pulp. The pulp holds the nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels for that tooth and extends into the root canals in the tooth roots, so it’s hardly surprising that if it becomes infected then it is extremely painful.
Symptoms of a Badly Infected Tooth
Common symptoms of a badly infected tooth include a feeling continuous pain in that tooth, or pain whenever you try to bite or chew. One of the problems with a tooth infection is that the infection will not clear up on its own. Eventually the pulp may die and the toothache could disappear but as the infection spreads, it will get right into the root of the tooth and can cause an abscess. This is why if you experience toothache you should always seek dental help as the sooner we can treat an infected tooth with root canal treatment, the greater the chance of us being able to save it from extraction.
What Happens during Root Canal Therapy?
When you first visit our dental office then we will carry out a number of diagnostic tests to assess the spread of the infection and which will include a dental x-ray. This helps us plan your root canal treatment by showing us the shape and number of root canals in your tooth roots. Root canal treatment is normally carried out under local anesthetic to keep you completely comfortable (Read more: Oral Sedation Dentistry). We will access the pulp through the crown of the tooth which is the part you normally see in the mouth.
Using special tools, our dentist will carefully clean out the pulp and all the root canals. Afterwards the area will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and it’s likely that we will place a temporary filling. If the infection was very bad then we may even place some topical antibiotics to help clear up any remaining bacteria. Once we are sure the infection has been eliminated, your tooth can be permanently restored. This normally involves placing a permanent filling and covering up the tooth with a crown which will protect it against any further infection.